IMPHAL, Apr 9: Apart from economic losses and physical hardships, bandhs/blockades leave multiple psychological effects.
According to Prof Dr RK Lenin of RIMS Psychiatric Department, frequent bandhs/blockades have traumatic effects on the psyche of the people of Manipur both individually as well as collectively.
Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club here this afternoon, Dr Lenin said that frequent bandhs and blockades affect the mental health of people directly or indirectly.
He said that his observation is based on clinical experience.
All the people starting from young kids to aged persons are mentally affected by bandhs/blockades.
People of Manipur are generally very patient or have high degree of tolerance. This characteristic has its positive side but tolerating something unpleasant or traumatic for too long can cause chronic stress and it may lead to many mental problems.
These mental problems can breed semantic symptom which can cause allergy, indigestion etc, Dr Lenin said.
When there is prolonged band/blockade, young students lose enthusiasm to study and in some cases, they develop bad habits. Many male adults gather together and consume intoxicating substances and/or gambling games (cards) when there is bandh/blockade which can create family problems when they come back home.
On account of bad habits imbibed during bandhs/blockades, many people become violent and start committing crimes, Dr Lenin continued.
Bandhs and blockades have serious negative impacts on social security too.
He also expressed keen desire for all the people to explore alternative means of highlighting grievances or pursue demands rather than resorting to bandhs and blockades.
Social researcher Serto Kom who was also present at the press meet quoted a report of IG (Intelligence) and said that there were 116 days of bandhs and general strikes in 2016 (366 days).
The current year has already witnessed 11 days of bandhs and general strikes. When there is bandh or blockade, the State loses Rs 13.11 crore on the average. As such, the State has already incurred a loss of Rs 1,672.90 crore this year.
There were 103 days of economic blockades in 2016 and 76 days in 2017 till March and the economic losses they inflicted was Rs 9433.33 crore, Serto said.
He further informed that he would submit a copy of his report to the Chief Minister.
Source: The Sangai Express